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Sad Story of a Suicide

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Sad Story of a Suicide

Post by Karen on Sun 31 Jul 2011 - 9:49


Mr. Wynne E. Baxter held an inquiry yesterday into the circumstances attending the death of Elizabeth Selling, aged 34, a married woman, of 25, Market-street, Poplar. William Selling, the husband, stated that on Wednesday morning he left his wife in bed when he went to work. On returning at 10 o'clock in the evening he was informed that she had just gone out. The next he heard was that she had jumped in front of a train and was then lying in Poplar hospital. He went to see her; she was conscious, but made no statement. Arthur Branfield, a porter in the employ of the North London Railway company, and stationed at Poplar, deposed that on Wednesday night, at about five minutes to 11, he saw the deceased standing on the down platform. As a train for Broad-street entered the station she walked forward to the edge of the platform, and giving a loud shriek, threw herself on the metals. The train was going slowly, but before it could be stopped the engine and five carriages had passed over her. It was a deliberate act. John Barnet, acting station-master at Poplar, deposed that he picked the deceased up. She was conscious and said, "The world is dead to me, and I to the world, but you'll forgive me, won't you?" A doctor was called, and she was at once removed to the Poplar hospital. Witness found a third-class ticket from Poplar to Old Ford, which had been issued late that evening. Sarah Swain, a widow, of 2, Annabel-street, Poplar, deposed that the deceased was a friend of hers. They were often together. On Tuesday night deceased said to her, "I am sick and tired of this life." She had said it often before, because she lived unhappily with her husband. The witness was questioned as to the mode of life the deceased led, but refused to say. The husband was recalled, and, in reply to the coroner, said that he heard that his wife associated with other men, but he had never caught her in the act. When he accused her of it she denied it, and they quarrelled. He could not say whether it was true or not, but he knew that she was in the habit of going out late at nights. For some days previous to her death he had not mentioned the matter, and they had not quarrelled. He had been out of work for a long time, but he had never starved her. Mr. Amory Waters, house-surgeon at Poplar hospital, said the cause of death was shock consequent on the injuries. The coroner, in summing up, said that no doubt the friends were trying to screen the good name of the deceased, and therefore the whole facts as to her life had not been made known. There seemed quite sufficient, however, to warrant them in saying that at the time she committed the rash act her reason was impaired. The jury returned a verdict of "Suicide while in a state of temporary insanity."

Source: Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper, July 22, 1888, Page 12

Karen Trenouth
Author of: "Epiphany of the Whitechapel Murders"
Author of: "Jack the Ripper: The Satanic Team"

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